No Expectations, No Frustrations
Osho on Frustration
I FEEL SO FRUSTRATED!
So what! You must be responsible for it. If you don’t want to feel frustrated then there is no need. You must be creating it. Nobody else is responsible; if you feel frustrated, you must be reaping the crop which you go on sowing. But you don’t see the relationship. If you expect too much, you will be frustrated. If you don’t want to be frustrated, don’t expect.
Live without expectations and there will be no frustration. But people go on expecting; they know no ends to their expectation. Then frustration comes in — frustration is the shadow of expectation. Frustration is never the problem, the problem is with expectation.
When you feel frustrated you think that existence is doing something wrong to you. No — you were asking too much. In fact, ask and you will be frustrated. Any asking is asking too much. Don’t ask, be. And then you will be surprised — whatsoever happens is good; you have no way to judge it.
I used to stay with a rich family in Calcutta. Once I went; the family had come to take me from the airport. The husband was very sad. I enquired, “What is the matter?” He said, “There has been a great loss.” Listening to this, his wife started laughing. She said, “Don’t bother about what he says. There has been no loss — in fact, there has been a great profit.”
I was puzzled. I said, “You both are here. Please try to explain this riddle to me.” The wife said, “There is no riddle. He was expecting ten lakh rupees and he got only five lakh rupees. So he says, `Five lakh rupees’ loss,’ and I say, `You have profited’ — but he won’t listen, and he is very said.”
When you expect ten lakh rupees and you get five lakhs you feel frustrated. If you are not expecting and you get five lakh rupees you are full of joy, thankfulness, gratitude.
Don’t expect, and you see your whole life becomes a joy. Expect, and your whole life becomes a hell. Expectation is the cause. If you want to change, never start by the effect, start by the cause. Frustration is the effect. You can go on fighting with frustration — nothing will happen, you will become more and more frustrated. Start by the cause, always look for the cause. Whenever you are feeling miserable, go into it and find out where the cause is. and then it is up to you. If you want to drop the effect then avoid the cause; then become aware, more and more aware.
If you are enjoying frustration… because there are many people who enjoy. There are many people who enjoy being miserable. In fact, they cannot tolerate happiness at all. When they are miserable they are happy, when they are happy they feel very miserable. You laugh at it, but this is a truth about the majority of people. And again, there are reasons. Whenever you are miserable you gain something: sympathy, attention. Whenever you are happy nobody shows any sympathy — in fact, people become jealous. When you are unhappy everybody is a friend, everybody sympathizes with you — even your enemy will sympathize with you. When you are happy even your friend will become jealous and inimical.
When you are happy nobody pays any attention to you. People avoid you. In fact, they start thinking you must be mad: Happy? — who has ever heard of anybody being happy?… must have gone crazy or something, or must be pretending. When you are unhappy they accept you. Then they think everything is okay, because this is how things have to be. And people enjoy your unhappiness, that’s why they pay attention — because whenever you are unhappy they can compare themselves, and deep down they can feel good — “So I am in a better position. People are so unhappy! — at least I am not that much unhappy. I am unhappy, but not so much.” He can compare. When you are happy, you bring the man down; he becomes unhappy looking at your happiness — “So you are happy? So you have attained?” He will deny, he will create trouble for you. This world consists of miserable people, unhappy people. They don’t allow any happy person to live or to exist.
I have heard about a man, a great poet; old, sixty years old, and he was in a hospital lying on his bed. Nothing to do, so he was meditating about his life — that he has lived a miserable life. He has been creating beautiful songs — but they are not real, they are just compositions. He has a knack of writing poetry — but those poems have not grown in his soul, they are just intellectual. He has the skill, the technique, but they are not outpourings of his heart. So he was lying on the bed, nothing to do, was thinking, meditating, and he said, “Now I am sixty and within a few years I will be gone. Why am I wasting my life? Can’t I be happy? And then he became aware that there is nothing really to be unhappy about. He has everything — whatsoever a man needs, he has. He has prestige, respectability, name, money, house, a good wife, children — he has everything. Why is he unhappy? He started laughing at the whole ridiculousness of it — “I have nothing to be unhappy about, and I am unhappy. This is foolish!” He started laughing. The nurse heard him; she immediately ran to the doctor. And he saw that the nurse was shocked and she had run out of fear, so he started laughing even more. And then the doctor came and the doctor was shocked and said, “What has gone wrong?” — so he laughed more.
Immediately he was taken to the mental department. He told me himself, “I was laughing even more there — `You people, have you gone mad or something?’ And I would tell them that nothing is wrong — but who listens? They said, `Everybody says that! Suddenly out of the blue you started laughing.'” Something has gone wrong; his mind is no more sane. When he came to see me and he told me this story, he said, “This is something! Nobody ever thought I was mad when I was miserable.”
It happens to my sannyasins every day. One of my sannyasins wrote a few days before, that he took Sannyas, he was very happy, he went dancing from his station to his home — he went dancing, he was so happy. The whole town gathered together; they said, “He has gone mad.” His wife started crying and weeping! and his children, they said, “Poppa, what are you doing?” And looking at this, he started laughing more. He said, “What am I doing? I have become a happy person!” They forced him into the hospital. He telegrammed here: Beloved Master, save me! They are going to give me tranquillizers and electroshock. What am I to do?
Happiness is not allowed. Happiness is something mad. You say, “I feel so frustrated!” Look into it. If you enjoy it, then there is no problem — it is your choice… So if you are going into frustration and you love it and you enjoy it, then go into it more alert, aware. And enjoy it! Then don’t complain, don’t create a contradiction. You love frustration? — love it! go into it. Become more artistic about it, decorate it a little more; make new possibilities, new doors to become more frustrated… if you enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, then I don’t see the problem. Just go deep into it, watch, and you will find some expectation hidden behind.
Whenever you expect, you are asking for frustration. Drop expectations.
The life of a sannyasin should be a life of no expectations. And then every moment is such a bliss, such a benediction, because whatsoever God gives is so much. Then you always feel grateful. But your desires are so much that whatsoever God gives always looks so little; and you feel frustrated, and you feel complaints, and you cannot feel grateful. And without gratitude, there is no possibility of prayer arising in your heart. Gratitude is prayer.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Divine Melody
Chapter title: Become a flame
2 January 1977 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘frustration, misery, expectation’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Come Follow To You, Vol 3
- The Beloved, Vol 1
- From Death to Deathlessness
- The New Dawn
- The Secret
- Take It Easy, Vol 1
- Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 2, 3
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1, 4, 10
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1, 2, 3
- The Book of Wisdom